Column: Don’t Give Back Just Around the Holidays

3 min read People and animals need help more than two months out of the year, so think about giving and volunteering more than just during the holidays.

More than 250 Highlanders participated in the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.


By Caitlyn Stultz |

With Halloween being over, the holiday season has officially begun. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and some people and Radford University have already put up their Christmas or winter decorations.

No matter what holiday a person celebrates, everyone seems to be in a more charitable mood once November hits.

According to Noblehour, “Statistics show about 30% of all donations for nonprofits come during the month of December alone and about 16% of adults volunteer approximately 2 hours a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas (5% more than the rest of the year).”

On Radford’s campus, many organizations are giving back year round.

For example, Lorainia Weikle, a junior at Radford, is involved with College Mentors for Kids, an organization that connects children and college students through activities and trips. She is also an initiate for Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity and the largest collegiate fraternity in the United States.

“I volunteer because I know it’s something that I should be doing to help people,” Weikle said. “All I want to do is help people. We do have a lot of holiday projects coming up, so yes I’d say I’m going to be committing more time over the holidays.”

The holiday season is busier for everyone, but many people still seem to make time for volunteering around this season. People are also spending more money on the holidays. Yet, donations increase significantly in November and December.

So what is everyone’s excuse for the rest of the year?

An increase in volunteering is still good around the holiday season. Children who rely on meals at school are on winter break and need food to eat. Additionally, homeless people are freezing outside. Volunteering around this time is good, but people shouldn’t stop there.

Noblehour also gives some tips on how to make holiday volunteering into a year-long passion. For example, when it comes to donating to local food drives, they say, “purchase canned and nonperishable food once a month (or more) and drop your donations off at a food bank on your way home.”

By adding this monthly ritual, just one person could feed multiple families throughout the year.

Plenty of events occur over the year that needs or encourages volunteering. For example, National Volunteer Week is held in April every year and will be held on April 7-13 in 2019.

Additionally, Radford is hosting a significant event for the MLK Day of Service this school year. On Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, Radford will have an event where students can volunteer throughout the day. The university is also giving a $500 prize to an individual student who participates and reward an organization with the most volunteers with a pizza party.

Students who register before Nov. 30 are guaranteed a t-shirt and a special volunteer packet at check-in.

With modern technology, it’s easy to find volunteer opportunities. A place anyone can find more information is on Volunteer Match, which gives information on local volunteer opportunities for free.

Also finding the perfect organization to donate to has become much easier with the internet. Everything about a specific non-profit is found with a simple search.

The Radford community shouldn’t forget their local food bank or homeless shelter after New Year’s.

People and animals need help more than two months out of the year, so think about giving and volunteering more than just during the holidays.

Photo Credit: (Radford Relations)